Guideline for Tobacco Free Educational Institutions No Amala Karava Babat No Paripatra.
Tobacco-free education is a human right for all young people as tobacco is the world’s
leading killer causing five million deaths a year.
Although it is a growing trend for educational institutions worldwide to have some form
of tobacco-free policy in place, not all are comprehensive or equal to best practice.
A ‘best practice’ policy is the most efficient (least amount of effort) and effective (best
results) way of achieving an outcome based on repeatable procedures that have proven
themselves over time for large numbers of people.
A tobacco-free policy is defined in this guide as including smokefree environments
as well as environments that are free of all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion,
sponsorship and sale.
As many countries are in the early stages of developing enforceable tobacco-free laws, most have not yet implemented effective and
enforceable laws and regulations to protect their populations from the known harm caused by tobacco products.
As tobacco use impairs mental development and physical performance, there are undeniable health and moral reasons for all campuses to
be made safe and free from the harm caused by tobacco use and secondhand smoke (SHS).
The Guide outlines in three steps how to develop, implement and support a comprehensive tobacco-free campus policy including:
• Improving the health of students and staff by ending involuntary exposure to SHS in enclosed places and outdoor crowded areas.
• Ending all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion, sponsorship and sale on campus.
• Establishing an ethical and socially responsible mandatory standard or core principle that ensures that the institution, its staff and
students are not financially or materially associated through the institution with the tobacco industry.
The Guide has great potential to improve the health, productivity and performances of both students and staff in universities, colleges,
schools and wherever young people are engaged in learning and education.
2. Tobacco facts
1. Approximately five million people worldwide die each year from tobacco, with most future deaths expected to occur in low- and
middle-income countries. SHS from other people’s cigarettes causes several diseases in non-smokers, including cancers, heart
disease, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), respiratory illness and asthma attacks.1
2. The Global Youth Tobacco Survey found widespread exposure to SHS among young people aged 13-15 years, with almost half of
all students surveyed reporting that they were exposed to SHS in their home.2
3. SHS cannot be controlled by ventilation, air cleaning or spatial separation of smokers from non-smokers. It can cause significant
exposure and health harm in unenclosed areas.3
4. There is a growing trend for national smokefree laws requiring workplaces and public places to be smokefree, at least indoors to
protect employees. Most jurisdictions, however, are still in the early stages of implementing laws to protect their populations.
5. The tobacco industry has a long history of misleading and deceiving governments, scientific communities and the public at great
cost to human life. For decades the tobacco industry funded university research to create doubt about the medical evidence and to
delay tobacco-free laws for as long as possible.4
6. The sale of tobacco products on campus is often the responsibility of student associations and administrations; and although
tobacco companies misleadingly argue that these are legal products, it is unethical to profit from the sale of an addictive drug that
kills half of its regular users.
7. 162 countries have ratified the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) – an international
treaty that includes commitments to making smokefree environments the norm (Article 8)5
and to protecting public health policies
from interference by the tobacco industry (Article 5.3).6
3. What is a tobacco-free campus policy?
Every campus should officially adopt a tobacco-free policy that is comprehensive and based on best practice to: protect staff, students and
visitors from exposure to SHS; remove all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion sponsorship and sale; and end any financial or material
connections with the tobacco industry or related third parties.
The sample policy we recommend includes: smokefree environments, such as all indoor areas, crowded outdoor areas, walkways,
residence halls or dormitories, campus vehicles etc; tobacco-free environments that are free of all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion,
sponsorship and sale; and educational materials for students and staff on how to quit smoking. A condition of employment or student
membership should be to respect and comply with the policy.
A tobacco-free policy can also be part of a broader policy to improve the overall health of students and staff.